Television viewers in Pakistan have been reportedly tuning in to the program (which I can only hope is called Who Wants to Have a Baby?) in their millions to watch childless couples win abandoned babies.
One of the lucky couples, Syed Zulfiqar Hussein and wife Suriya Bilqees reportedly told CNN that they had no idea they would be taking a baby girl home with them when they were first invited to be part of the show.
“I was really shocked at first. I couldn’t believe we were being given this baby girl. I was extremely happy”, says Bilqees.
The show has met with some criticism, particularly from people online, some of whom have even accussed the show of committing child abuse.
The show’s host, Aamir Liaquat Husain has refuted these claims however, saying that the couples are heavily vetted before hand and that the show is only trying to make people happy during Ramamdan.
“We’ve created a symbol of peace and love, that’s our show’s theme, to spread love. I’m setting an example, giving a childless couple an abandoned child”, he says.
The program joined forces with non-governmental organisation the Chhipa Foundation to raise awareness of the issue.
“Our team finds babies abandoned on the street, some of them dead, in garbage cans, others mauled by animals. So why not ensure the baby is kept alive and gets a good home?”, says the foundation’s Ramzan Chhipa.
While the whole concept seems a bit, well, odd – it’s nice to think that these little abandoned babies might be getting a shot at a good life with a loving family.
Thumbs up, Pakistani television!